Yankees News: Scott Rolen to help Eric Jagielo


Although Scott Rolen never played for the New York Yankees in his long 17 year career, the seven time All Star, and eight time Gold Glove winner is going to work with 22-year old third base prospect Eric Jagielo, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.  After an atrocious season in the field where the prospect committed 17 errors, help from one of this generation’s greatest fielders should help.

Gary Denbo, who was recently appointed Senior Vice President of baseball operations, is responsible for bringing Rolen on board to work with the young third baseman.  While Jagielo had a productive season with his bat, his glove needs to improve, and with Chase Headley and Alex Rodriguez under contract, for four and three years, respectively, he will have time to develop in the minors.

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Besides being a great fielder, Rolen was also one of the best hitting third baseman of his time, finishing his career with 316 home runs, 1287 RBI, and a .281/.364/.490 slash line.  Jagielo has potential, and working with a great fielder such as Rolen will improve his chances at reaching that potential.

Denbo hasn’t returned a message seeking comment, but it is great that the Yankees are even getting players from other organizations to help in player development.  In Rolen and Rodriguez, the Yankees have two of the greatest third basemen, and outside of Chipper Jones, probably the best two in the past 25 years.  Jagielo, and Dante Bichette Jr., surely should both benefit from having these two around, and should look to pick their minds as much as possible, Rolen’s on fielding, and Rodriguez’s on hitting.

With the Yankees missing out on Yoan Moncada, the role of future third baseman is currently in Jagielo’s hands, and the Yankees should hire anybody to assist his development.  While this club could compete in 2015, there are a lot of question marks surrounding the club, and ownership has shown a reluctance to spending big money long term, so player development is important.

Following a year where Jagielo hit 16 home runs at High-A Tampa, he was invited to the Arizona Fall League, but a fastball to the face ended that.  He is expected to begin the season at AA Trenton.  While Bichette was called up to AA first, he struggled mightly.  The only third baseman at AAA Scranton is Jonathan Galvez, who is now 24, and after showing no significant improvement over 7 seasons, Jagielo’s potential is higher.

It will be interesting to see if Jagielo can improve in 2015, as he now has the right surroundings around him.

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